Editor-in-chief Simon Broughton Publisher & Managing Director Paul Geoghegan Editor Alexandra Petropoulos Assistant Editor & Reviews Editor Olivia Cheves Art Director Juliet Boucher Sub Editor & Online Content Writer Spencer Grady Advertisement Manager James Anderson-Hanney Online Content Editor James McCarthy News Editor Russ Slater Listings Editor Tatiana Rucinska World Cinema Editor John Atkinson Marketing Manager John Barnett Marketing Assistant Emma Coull Cover Image Pedro Pablo Cruz Contributing Editors Jane Cornwell, Mark Ellingham & Nigel Williamson Subscriptions Director Sally Boettcher Editorial Director Martin Cullingford CEO Ben Allen Chairman Mark Allen SUBSCRIPTIONS UK: 0800 137 201 Overseas: +44 (0)1722 716997 subscriptions@markallengroup.com ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7501 6683

Ref lections and resolutions

The end of the year is a convenient – if not clichéd – time to reflect upon the last 12 months (and beyond). It’s an opportuni to feel thankful for the good stuff, to process the not-so-good, and to look to the future. As we stand on the cusp of the new year, we can recognise that it’s been another diffi cult and strange year as we continue to battle with the repercussions of the pandemic. The good news is that the green shoots of recovery are finally starting to sprout as live music begins returning to our stages (let’s just hope Omicron doesn’t put a kibosh on that). That said, virtual events are still an important resource for musicians and fans alike. Our own Songlines Music Awards once again lit up screens as we shared our second virtual ceremony on December 12. Read more about the winners, including cover star Omara Portuondo, on p16.

And while live music may be slow to recover, it’s been another bumper year for recorded music. Simon Broughton and I select our ten favourite albums from 2021 on p22, and let me tell you, it was a hard list to boil down. There was so much excellent music being made, from veterans and newcomers alike, that we easily could have made the list much, much longer. We’d love to hear what your favourites have been.

Finally, this end-of-year reflection feels particularly pertinent as this issue marks two special anniversaries. I joined the Songlines team almost 11 years ago as an intern on #74, and now, here I am, putting the final touches on my 100th issue… and as editor to boot! What a journey it’s been! This edition also features our 150th Top of the World CD. Many of the tracks featured on these compilations throughout the years are still some of my favourites today. Here’s to the next milestones!

Everyone here at Songlines HQ wishes you a happy holidays and a joyful new year, full of love and good music.

Alexandra Petropoulos, editor

We wish you a happy holidays and a joyful new year, full of love and good music

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Songlines is published by MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Rd, London, SE24 0PB, UK +44 (0)20 7738 5454 info@songlines.co.uk www.songlines.co.uk

© MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd, 2021. All rights reserved. No part of Songlines may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishing director. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor or Songlines advertisements in the journal do not imply endorsement of the products or services advertised. Please read our privacy policy, by visiting privacypolicy.markallengroup.com. This will explain how we process, use and safeguard your data. ISSN 1464-8113. Printed by: Pensord Press Ltd, Blackwood, NP12 2A Record trade distribution Songlines 020 7738 5454 Newstrade distribution Marketforce 020 3787 9101

Betto Arcos Betto is a radio journalist, a regular contributor to NPR and BBC Radio 3. He published his first book this year, Music Stories from the Cosmic Barrio. Read his Dispatch from Cartagena on p77.

Garth Cartwright Garth is a journalist and author of several books, the latest being London’s Record Shops. This issue he finds out more about changüí, the dance music from Cuba’s sugarcane fields (see p36).

Rachel Cunniffe Since interning at Songlines, Rachel has continued to contribute to the magazine while also performing regularly as a singer and working in media for the chari sector. This issue she speaks to Auka (p19)

Songlines was launched in 1999 and is the definitive magazine for world music – music that has its roots in all parts of the globe, from Mali to Mexico, India to Iraq. Whether this music is defined as traditional, contemporary, folk or fusion, Songlines is the only magazine to truly represent and embrace it. However, Songlines is not just about music, but about how the music fits into the landscape; it’s about politics, history and identi . Delivered in both print and digital formats, Songlines, through its extensive articles and reviews, is your essential and independent guide to a world of music and culture, whether you are starting on your journey of discovery or are already a seasoned fan.